The BiCon Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is also available as a 6 and a half minute long MP3 audio file.

By signing for your BiCon pass you agree to abide by this code of conduct

Why do we need a Code of Conduct?
People come to BiCon with different experiences and ideas of how to behave and how they expect others to behave. This Code of Conduct outlines what everyone, including organising team and volunteers, can expect from others and what is expected from all of us during our time at BiCon 2011.

The organisers will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issue that is brought to us. We may also make reasonable requests that are not specifically included here. Breaches of this Code of Conduct or reasonable requests will, in most cases, be met with a warning from a member of the organising team. The organisers decision is final.

If warnings are ignored, or in the event of serious misconduct, we reserve the right to ask anyone to leave all or part of BiCon. If you are asked to leave you will not receive any refund. We reserve the right to pass on details of complaints to future BiCon organisers.

No Means No.
No-one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to do.

This includes:

  • any sexual behaviour
  • hugs or touching
  • taking part in a activity
  • disclosing information
  • or even having a chat.

It is fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. For example, "Would you like a hug?".  If they refuse, continuing to ask is pestering them and counts as harassment. If someone asks you to leave them alone, do so.

In public, "no", "stop", "don't do that" or similar words will be taken at face value by the BiCon organisers and volunteers regardless of context.

Public behaviour
BiCon should be a place where people feel free to express their sexuality, but it is not a sex or fetish party. We ask that overtly sexual behaviour be kept out of the public areas. Please keep public behaviour within what is normally publicly acceptable.

Consent includes any audience. Remember that may include not just attendees, but venue staff and the general public too.

Everyone at BiCon deserves to feel safe and no one deserves to be shouted or sworn at or made to feel threatened. This of course includes desk staff, volunteers and the organising team – all of whom are generously donating their time.

Some spaces within BiCon are restricted to certain groups of people, e.g people aged 18 or over or those with a particular identity. BiCon supports safe spaces and recognises their value. Please do not breach safe spaces you are not eligible to be in, but if you are eligible, don’t be afraid that you aren’t ‘enough’ of whatever group to go.

The venue have requested that people be clothed (top and bottom) in all public areas. Body paint does not count as “clothed”. Some sessions are counted as private areas.

We don’t allow weapons (inc martial arts weapons) on-site except in pre-agreed session spaces.

We don't allow animals on-site, except for pre-registered assistance animals.

Please abide by the smoking zones which will be clearly marked and explained in the handbook.  It is illegal to smoke anywhere indoors including on-site accommodation (or out of any windows).

People attending BiCon should wear their pass to all events; if you don't, you may not be allowed into BiCon spaces until you get it.

Passes are numbered and non transferable. If you give someone else your pass you are defrauding BiCon. If you lose your pass you will need to pay a small fee and fill in a short form to get a replacement.

Respecting fellow attenders
Racist and bigoted behaviour will not be tolerated at BiCon and should be reported to the conference desk or the nearest organiser as soon as possible.

People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality.

People who attend BiCon may define their gender in a range of different ways which we understand aren’t always easy to spot.  If you are unsure of someone’s pronoun we encourage you to ask them or avoid gendered language for example by using “they” instead of “he” or “she”. If you ask someone, or are corrected about pronouns then please try to use them correctly.  We accept people's self identified gender for all purposes at BiCon including single-gender spaces.

Do not insult the choices people have made regarding their beliefs or their sexuality, or how they choose to express them.  You can find more information about some of these things at the Info Zones.

Please remember that everyone is at a different stage of awareness about various issues and don't assume people are being malicious.

If you understandably feel unable to be gentle or want support in challenging anyone's behaviour or anything they've said, please come and talk to the desk or the organisers who can assist you or speak to the person for you.

Please respect people's privacy, and be aware that not everyone at BiCon may be 'out' about their sexuality. Ask permission before identifying anyone publicly. 'Public' includes write-ups on personal websites or on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Do not take any photographs or recordings of people without their express permission. It is your responsibility to make sure everyone in shot is happy to be photographed.

If you give permission for your photo to be taken, assume it may end up online linked to you by name as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon.

If you believe someone has taken your photograph without your permission you may ask them to delete the image or ask the desk or a volunteer to do so for you.

Members of the press should identify themselves to the desk and at any sessions they attend.

Dealing with complaints
If you're getting unwanted attention or witness inappropriate behaviour from someone, you can tell the desk and we will politely tell them to stop. We're happy to do so even if you haven't communicated this to them, since that's not always easy to do.

If you have a complaint about a breach of the code of conduct or notice anything that concerns you, please report it to BiCon Reception or the nearest volunteer wearing a sash as soon as possible.  If you don't feel comfortable bringing an issue to us directly, you can put a note in the organisers' postbox at Reception, but this may delay our response.

The organisers very much want to know about things that make people at BiCon less likely to attend another bi event.  If anything happens that makes you uncomfortable or unwelcome – even if you do not want us to do anything about it, or feel it is your fault – please let us know.

By signing for your BiCon pass you agree to abide by this code of conduct

2 Responses to The BiCon Code of Conduct

  1. Cas says:

    Very happy to see safer spaces, x-only spaces and racism specifically mentioned in this. 🙂

  2. Marcus says:

    Good work, and very nicely read too.